DALLAS, Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the travel industry continues to rebound in 2013, the ever-changing economic landscape will create a new set of challenges and opportunities for both consumers and businesses, including a returning sense of consumer confidence, airfare rate hikes and continued advancements in digital offerings. Hotels.com North America Vice President and General Manager Victor Owens believes this will result in more opportunities for interest-based travel, an increase in regional travel and even more unique mobile and social offerings.
Mobile and Social Diversification
Mobile devices and social media have become an integral part of the travel experience and consumers are utilizing a variety of travel apps to plan trips, gain local insights and share their experiences.
"Last year we had over 10 million downloads of the Hotels.com mobile booking app and consumers showcased their confidence in booking accommodations on at the last minute with more than two in three mobile bookings being for the same night," said Owens. "Travelers' continued reliance on mobile devices will foster more opportunities to connect and share travel experiences across numerous social media platforms, as well as exclusive deals."
While many U.S. consumers book travel as a result of work or family obligations, a recent survey by Hotels.com found that 41 percent of Americans research vacation and trip ideas online. Additionally, USA Today recently conducted a poll uncovering that nearly 94 percent of respondents are planning a vacation domestically this year.
"We may see an uptick in leisure travel, as consumers search for more experiences that are specific to their interests, whether that involves attending a music festival in Austin or experiencing a culinary tour in New Orleans," said Owens. "These kinds of niche travel excursions will increase in popularity as consumer confidence is slowly restored."
Increase in Localized Travel
Airline consolidation will result in fewer flights, additional fees and increased airfare costs for Americans in 2013. The bright side? Gas prices are expected to remain level or decrease, meaning that car travel could provide many Americans with a more reasonable means to vacation closer to home.
"With increasing airfare costs, domestic travel is becoming a more practical option for Americans, and travelers in some regions may find that they don't have to go too far from home to vacation," said Owens. "Travelers may find that a six-hour drive to a regional destination is more affordable than a cross-country getaway. Those still relying on airline travel should consider long-lead trip planning and monitor for price changes by signing up for email alerts."
Consumers can get a jump start on 2013 travel planning now with hotel deals and seasonal sales or by searching the Hotels.com Deals For You app on Facebook. To book your 2013 getaway, visit www.hotels.com, call 1-800-2-hotels, or use our mobile apps.
Megan Tyrie – Finn Partners for Hotels.com
Phone: (212) 593-5815
Taylor L. Cole, APR
Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
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